Leftovers, Lambeau, and Left Feet

Shots in the Darke

Just finished working out at the Y, trying to burn off a few of those calories I consumed over  the weekend. With a holiday party or two to go and way too many leftovers looking at me in  the refrigerator plus all of the football bowl games and NFL playoffs looming, I figure that if I  stick to my normal workout routine I’ll be back to my fighting weight by March 28th! 

With apologies to Charles Dickens, this weekend was an updated version of “A Tale of Two  Cities”; the Bengals and Joe Burrow (throwing for a team record 525 yards and 4 TDS)  demolished the Ravens for a second time this season to claim the lead in the AFC North. The  Browns on the other hand are on life support as far as playoff chances are concerned following  a loss on the Frozen Tundra of Green Bay’s Lambeau Field. Baker Mayfield looked rusty again  after limited practice due to Covid protocols and an injured left shoulder. It might be another  long off-season for Browns’ fans! 

Speaking of Covid protocols (and who isn’t sick of doing so?) three bowl games have  already been cancelled (the Fenway, the Military, and the Hawaii—I know, I know, who really  cares?) with the Sun Bowl in doubt due to Miami’s Hurricanes backing out and Texas A & M  bowing out of the Gator Bowl allowing a 5-7 Rutgers to take on Wake Forest. How about  those Scarlet Knights!! 

More importantly, provisions have been made in the event that any or all of the four playoff teams are unable to play due to the virus. The worst case scenario would be to have no  national champion because of forfeits—we can only hope that somebody is healthy enough to  raise the trophy!! 

Congratulations to Arcanum High School band director Heather Marsh-Myers on being  selected to be one of 300 band directors from around the country to perform with the  “Marching Band of Band Directors” in the annual Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade on  New Year’s Day! It’s a real honor for this year’s Arcanum Teacher of the Year recipient in this  her sixth year at the county school. The cartoon strip Funky Winkerbean will be following the  fictional exploits of “The World’s Greatest Band Director”, Harry L. Dinkle, as he too takes part  in the Parade. Hopefully everyone remembers to start with the left foot!! 

For high school basketball enthusiasts this week promises to be a busy one! In boys action,  Mississinawa and host Franklin-Monroe play in the Jets Tournament, while Ansonia and host  Tri-Village go at it in the Patriots Tourney. Greenville sees Stebbins come to town Tuesday and  then travels to Vandalia to tangle with the Aviators on Thursday. Arcanum hosts Legacy  Christian while Bradford’s resurgent “Roaders participate in the Covington Invitational. On the girls side of play, all eight county teams have at least one game this week while Versailles and  Bradford play two. 

Congratulations to Versailles’ boys coach Travis Swank on recently winning his 100th game  as head coach of the Tigers. He has the defending district champions off to a 6-0 start this  year and set to host Miami East and St. Marys this week. I remember Travis as a little kid who  lived across the road from my parents, never thinking that he’d be a star at Franklin-Monroe  and later the “man” at Versailles!  

Final thoughts: Buffalo’s win over the Patriots was huge; the Colts are for real after beating  the Cardinals in Arizona; and the Lakers look like an overhyped collection of players past their  primes while the Cavaliers are surprising everyone with their team play! 

Here’s to resolutions kept in ‘22 and to a healthy and Happy New Year for everyone!! 

Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

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